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On-site geometric calibration of thermal and optical sensors for UAS photogrammetry

Lookup NU author(s): Dr Johannes Senn, Professor Jon MillsORCiD, Dr Pauline Miller, Professor Claire Walsh, Dr Maria-Valasia PeppaORCiD



This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (CC BY 4.0).


UAS imagery has become a widely used source of information in geomorphic research. When photogrammetric methods are applied to quantify geomorphic change, camera calibration is essential to ensure accuracy of the image measurements. Insufficient self-calibration based on survey data can induce systematic errors that can cause DEM deformations. The typically low geometric stability of consumer grade sensors necessitates in-situ calibration, as the reliability of a lab based calibration can be affected by transport. In this research a robust on-site workflow is proposed that allows the time-efficient and repeatable calibration of thermal and optical sensors at the same time. A stone building was utilised as calibration object with TLS scans for reference. The approach was applied to calculate eight separate camera calibrations using two sensors (DJI Phantom 4 Pro and Workswell WIRIS pro), two software solutions (Vision Measurement System (VMS) and Agisoft Metashape) and two different subsets of images per sensor. The presented results demonstrate that the approach is suitable to determine camera parameters for pre-calibrating photogrammetric surveys.

Publication metadata

Author(s): Senn JA, Mills JP, Miller PE, Walsh C, Addy S, Loerke E, Peppa MV

Publication type: Article

Publication status: Published

Journal: International Archives of the Photogrammetry, Remote Sensing and Spatial Information Sciences

Year: 2020

Volume: XLIII-B1-2020

Pages: 355-361

Online publication date: 06/08/2020

Acceptance date: 02/04/2018

Date deposited: 22/04/2021

Publisher: ISPRS


DOI: 10.5194/isprs-archives-XLIII-B1-2020-355-2020


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